Finding your perfect teaching job in the UK is about more than getting an interview and waiting for them to ask you questions. You need to make sure it’s the right fit for you, and follow the process required. Here are our top tips, if you are looking for a teaching career in the UK.

About schools in the UK

Schools in the UK vary enormously. Public and private schools tend to have more autonomy and smaller classrooms; whereas state schools have to follow the national curriculum and class sizes can be up to 30 students. Some large secondary schools can have up to 2000 pupils, or even more, especially in cities, whereas rural schools are likely to be smaller. Some schools hone in on specific subject areas, such as languages or sports, although all will have a broad curriculum. It might be a school where academic achievement is particularly prized, and university admission rates are crucial. Think about what is important to you as a teacher, and make sure you choose a school that offers that.

Finding Teaching Jobs in the UK

National shortage occupation list

If you are trying for a teaching Job in the UK from India, the first and foremost thing to be considered is the national shortage occupation list published by the UK Gov. National shortage occupancy list is made and updated from time to time to keep a track of the shortage of skilled workers across the UK in various industries. The employers then will be able to recruit and be able to process the work permit for people from other countries to cover the shortages. As of now, the shortage occupation list includes vacancies mainly for teachers in the subjects such as maths, physics, and foreign languages.

How does the shortage occupation list work?

In an attempt to remedy this deficit, the UK government creates a shortage occupation list where it lists the jobs that employers struggle to recruit for within the UK. Jobs on this list can be more easily filled by non-British workers under a Skilled Worker Visa in the UK.

Check the below link to find out the updated list of national shortage occupations.

  • Google search

Google search can help you find the vacancies that you look for as teaching professionals. Below listed search keys may help. You may also add the specific cities you prefer to find the jobs in the key.

  • Teacher recruitment agency in UK
  • teaching jobs
  • Teacher register UK
  • Teaching vacancies
  • Best time to apply for teaching jobs in UK
  • Teaching jobs with visa sponsorship in UK
  • Dfe teaching jobs in UK
  • Useful links


It is a legal requirement for any teacher teaching in a Scottish school to be registered with GTC( General teaching council) Scotland. Being registered not only allows an individual to teach but it also provides assurances to employers, parents, and children that teachers meet a national standard of teaching.

Registration Services Department is responsible for processing thousands of applications each year from students, those returning to teaching, and teachers qualified outside Scotland.

Similarly, teachers teaching in England need to be registered with GTC England, and EWC (Education workforce council) registration is required for Wales. GTC registration is required for Northern Ireland also. Below listed links may help.

Language requirement

No specific language tests/exams are involved in the teaching job registration. However, for a work visa, knowledge of English is a must. Please check the link below to know more.

Becoming a Teacher

Teaching is a highly rewarding, challenging career that gives you the opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise with children and young people in a wide variety of settings.

Whatever route you chose to go down, whether it be primary or secondary, you need to be registered with GTC Scotland. To gain registration you need to hold an appropriate qualification.

If you hold a first/undergraduate degree (a bachelor’s degree) then, depending on the sector/ subject you wish to teach, the minimum qualification you may need is a Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) or equivalent.

If you don’t hold a first degree then you’ll need to gain a degree-level qualification that allows entry to the relevant Primary or Secondary PGDE program or complete a degree that also incorporates a teaching qualification.

To teach in a state school in England, you must have a degree, and gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) by following a program of Initial Teacher Training (ITT). You must have achieved minimum requirements in GCSE English, maths, and science if you wish to teach at the primary level.

Getting qualified teacher status (QTS)

There are different arrangements for overseas teachers who want to get QTS.

If the teacher has a degree but has limited teaching experience, they can train to teach on a course that will give them QTS. There is also guidance on becoming a qualified teacher if they’re not a graduate.

If they have a degree and more than 2 years of teaching experience, they can achieve QTS by completing the assessment-only route without doing more training.

If they are a qualified teacher from the following places, they can get QTS without having to do teacher training or assessment only:



The EU




New Zealand

Northern Ireland






From 1 February 2023, teachers who qualified in the following 9 countries will also be able to apply to TRA for QTS:

  • Ghana
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Nigeria
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Ukraine
  • Zimbabwe

There is more information about QTS and about routes to QTS for teachers and those with teaching experience outside the UK. There is also information on how overseas teachers can get into teaching in England.

Employing overseas teachers without QTS (the 4-year rule)

Overseas teachers can teach in maintained schools and non-maintained special schools in England without qualified teacher status (QTS) for up to 4 years. This is called the 4-year rule.

It is illegal for overseas teachers to continue working as a teacher in a maintained school or non-maintained special school in England for longer than 4 years without QTS unless there is another legal basis to teach.

The 4-year rule applies to overseas teachers who meet all of the following conditions:

  • they have qualified as a teacher in a country outside of the UK
  • they have completed a course of teacher training that is recognized by the competent authority of that country
  • they are employed in maintained schools and non-maintained special schools, but not a pupil referral unit

What the employer needs to do

When employing an overseas teacher, the employer  should tell them:

  • about the 4-year rule when you employ them
  • that they need QTS (or another legal basis) to teach longer than 4 years in some types of school

There is guidance for overseas teachers who want to get QTS at qualified teacher status (QTS).

When overseas teachers can teach for longer than 4 years without QTS

Statutory leave

Overseas teachers can teach longer than 4 years without QTS if, during that time, they have taken one of the following forms of leave:

  • maternity leave
  • paternity leave
  • adoption leave
  • parental leave
  • shared parental leave
  • time off because of pregnancy

If they have taken statutory leave, then overseas teachers can teach for longer than 4 years for an equivalent period of the statutory leave that they have taken.

For example, If they took 34 weeks of statutory maternity leave during their 4-year period, they can then teach 34 weeks longer than 4 years before having to get QTS or teaching under another legal basis.


Overseas teachers can teach longer than 4 years if they are employed as an instructor. Instructors can teach subjects, including vocational training, that require special qualifications or experience (or both).

There is no definition of special qualifications and experience. These are matters that the local authority or governing body needs to be satisfied with. An overseas teacher can only be employed as an instructor if they have the special qualifications or experience needed for the instructor post.

Overseas teachers can also work as teaching assistants (without QTS) for any period of time.

Safeguarding checks for teachers from overseas

Candidates from overseas must undergo the same checks as all other staff in schools, including obtaining an enhanced DBS certificate with barred list information. This still applies even if the candidate has never been to the UK.

When recruiting, one must:

  1. follow part 3 of Keeping children safe in education (KCSIE) statutory guidance, which sets out the safer recruitment checks schools must conduct.
  2. make any further checks they think appropriate so that relevant events that occurred outside of the UK can be considered – the Home Office provides guidance on criminal records checks for overseas applicants.
  3. carry out additional checks for teaching roles, which may include information about their past conduct, for example, by checking documents issued by overseas teaching authorities – you should also consider this evidence together with other information which you have obtained through other safer employment checks.

Acclimatisation support

Help teachers from overseas to become familiar with our curriculum and the systems and policies specific to your school. The recruiter can do this by:

  • helping to secure local accommodation
  • allocating a mentor to support with lesson planning, behavior management strategies, or peer observations

The recruiter may also want to offer a detailed induction that includes:

  • details of key staff, timetable, and tutor group (if applicable)
  • behavior management strategies for the classroom, the school’s behavior policy – rewards and sanctions, what support is available, and when it should be sought
  • tour of the school
  • health and safety
  • safeguarding policy
  • use of computers and software (for example, General Data Protection Regulation, acceptable use policy, whiteboard training, staff email)
  • management information system training (for example, SIMS) to include taking registers, behavior and rewards, student progress data
  • school day and calendar (for example, lesson times, hours, staff meetings and briefings, term dates, inset days, and parents’ evenings)
  • key school policies to include behavior, sanctions and rewards, assessment, teaching and learning, special educational needs, and disabilities
  • reception and visitors to school protocols
  • shared resources (for example, teaching resources, exam board specifications, schemes of work and lesson plans, equipment, and stationery)
  • CPD and staff training
  • protocols for absence and illness reporting
  • professional expectations (for example, dress code)
  • performance management and probationary procedures

Hope this article is informative and will help you in some way. Stay tuned for more articles on a variety of subjects related to life in the UK.

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